Behind the Mic: Thomas Torres

Every Friday, Thomas Torres’ show, “Super Radio Hijack,” gives listeners a great start to their weekend.

Thomas Torres is a senior majoring in music composition. He has been in KCR for four years, and describes his show as lighthearted and a good time waster. Inspired by Reggie Watts, he tries to keep the show as “wacky as possible,” by playing music, talking and DJing.

While talking to Thomas, he described the two types of shows he has. The first, is a regular music show in which he plays any type of music and talks about anything. During this type of show, he invites guests to chime in on various topics. Some guests that have appeared on the show are Ahmad Dixon and Brian DeVera, both KCR members. The other type of show he hosts in his time slot is a DJ show. During this show type, Thomas is mainly DJing and giving shout outs. He explained that he likes to change it up approximately every two weeks, in order to keep the show fresh and interesting.

As opposed to many other KCR members, Thomas explains that there really is no format for his show. The most organization there is is changing between a music show and a DJ show every few weeks. Apart from that, he explained that having a format to follow would make him feel too restrained. This way, he still has the liberty to take his show anywhere he wants while being wacky and fun.

Thomas also talked about the name of his show and the original idea of what his show was going to be when he first joined KCR. Four years ago, Thomas and his first cohost had the idea of having a sketch comedy show. The show would be about someone taking over the radio station. With that idea in mind, they came up with the name, “Super Radio Hijack.” Although the idea of a sci-fi comedy sketch show did not stick, the name did, and Thomas has kept the it ever since.

Apart from “Super Radio Hijack,” Thomas is also the KCR engineer, is on management and works on the KCR zine, The Sound. He also DJs, makes music, paints, draws, writes and works as the audio visual technician at the Aztec Student Union.

Make sure to tune into Thomas’ show, “Super Radio Hijack,” every Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Behind the Mic: Natalie Bucher

News is such a fundamental part of our lives. You can hear it and experience it anywhere.

Natalie Bucher’s puts her own spin on morning news shows by covering everything from national news and pop culture to campus news on her show, “In the Know Before Your Joe.”

Natalie, a third year majoring in public relations, said that she tries to cover local, national and world news for the first 15 minutes of the show. Then, she covers pop culture and entertainment, followed by campus news and any interviews she has scheduled. In between sections, she plays music that is related to the topics of the hour. For example, she played the song “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” by Billy Joel, after seeing backlash from people on Twitter towards the California Wildfires. She also played the song “Cheap Sunglasses,” by ZZ Top, after discussing a burglary where someone got their sunglasses stolen.

As for the guests on her show, she tries to invite professors and young entrepreneurs that can give good advice and information on a given topic. One notable guest was professor Martha Duran. While on the show, she gave financial advise for students and talked about the best ways of budgeting, detailing how people should be spending their money.

Despite the fact that she has only been in KCR for one semester, a lot has changed since her first show. Now instead of doing a show on her own, Natalie has three co-hosts. She explained that they were nervous to have a show on their own, so she invited them to be a part of her show. She also said that she likes having them on her show because it allows for more perspectives, ideas and opinions on stories, as opposed to just hers. Apart from that, it makes the workload of creating a high quality show less, if there are more people working on it.

Another big change for Natalie is that she became the news director of KCR. She explained that her job is to go over events she wants people to cover during meetings, and she tries to be available to others within the news section. She told me that her goal as news director is to not let anyone go though what she went through her first semester in KCR. Natalie described how she was always stressed about her show because it was a lot of work to do by herself. Knowing how stressful hosting a show can be, she decided that she didn’t want other people to be stressing out over their show. It should be, “A safe space and a place to grow,” said Natalie.

Natalie told me why she initially decided to join the news department in KCR. Ever since she was young, she grew up watching a lot of news because her parents always played it at home. She remembers thinking that how reporters “dissected” the news was fascinating, and that made her want to do the same thing in KCR.

Since joining, she has found new ways and opportunities to grow. Natalie described a time when she had the idea of live streaming the Open Forum for the mascot change at school. She was given the tools to do it herself, and it was a big learning experience for her. Natalie also does the hockey game play by plays for the sports department in KCR.

When she’s not busy with KCR, Natalie likes to go grocery shopping with her roommates, running, hiking and eating food. She also works at KPBS.

Make sure to catch her show, “In the Know Before Your Joe,” every Wednesday morning from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Behind the Mic: June Vincent and Laura Gallardo

June Vincent and Laura Gallardo’s show, “Just Listen,” showcases many talented SDSU musicians every Tuesday night.

The two hosts describe their show as a “journey” that lets listeners get to know the musicians they feature. They ask every artist to play three of their original songs and three songs that have inspired them. They also interview every musician about their music and inspirations.

“Just Listen” has had a variety of guests, such as student rappers, bands, solo artists and acoustic artists. Also, a producer and someone who makes film scores have appeared as well. Laura stated that they are “open to have anyone that makes any type of music,” on their show. I asked them if it was difficult to find musicians every week, and they said that it was hard to get started, at first. However, they receive many recommendations from artists they interview.

This semester, June and Laura implemented a new segment called “Start to Finish,” where they pick albums from different artists and play them in full, in order to get to know more about the selected musicians and their music. Adding this new segment to their show allows June and Laura to explore and familiarize themselves with more artists.

Another change that came along this semester, was June becoming the social media director for KCR. She is in charge of posting daily on KCR’s social media platforms. She said that it is really fun to be involved in management as a second year. June expressed that she likes her position because after she graduates, she hopes to work in the media.

June and Laura told me about their growth since their first year in KCR. They said their first show was a disaster, and described the time when they ran out of content during an interview. Now, they send out a Google Doc and tell their guests exactly what to do before a show. This has made their show more organized and easier to run. They also stay connected to their listeners through their social media accounts.

The duo also told me about how they met, why they joined KCR and the inspiration for “Just Listen.” June and Laura met when they were paired as roommates their freshman year. After hearing about KCR during Freshman Orientation, June decided she wanted to join. So, for the two months leading up to the start of school, she was thinking about ideas for a radio show. Then she heard a show from a college radio station in Canada where two female radio hosts only played local female bands. She thought it was really interesting that they only focused on a certain demographic, and thought it would be cool to focus her show only on student musicians.

After meeting Laura, who had also heard about KCR, they decided to join it together. As for the title of the show, they said that they easily came up with “Just Listen,” because it had the same first letters as their names. They said the best part of having their own show is the ability to be as creative as they want and showcase their personalities on air.

June and Laura have created an entertaining and unique show. It even won Best Music Show their first semester in KCR. Make sure to catch them every Tuesday night from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Also, check out their Instagram page to keep up or contact “Just Listen.”

Check out interviews with your other favorite KCR DJs here.

Behind the Mic: Joseph & Nyssa Gill

Joseph and Nyssa Gill are a dynamic sibling duo that brings lots of energy and fun to KCR’s sound waves. Every Thursday night, their show, “The Gill Gamut,” features the music they love and want to share with others.

Joseph is a fifth year, double majoring in marine biology and rhetorical writing studies, who has been a member of KCR since 2015. At the time, he was part of another show in which he also played his favorite music. After his first co-host graduated, he convinced his little sister, Nyssa who is a second year student double majoring in history and sociology, to join KCR with him. Together, they have been hosting “The Gill Gamut,” since spring semester of 2017. What they like most about having their own music show is that they get a two hour break from school, life and other things, every week. They also think that being siblings adds to their chemistry on air because they can easily have meaningful conversations with one another about any topic.

While speaking to them, they told me about how their show works. The siblings are very structured and detailed with the preparation of their show every week. Nyssa told me that they have a Google Docs form where they compile a list of 26 songs, split between the two of them. She also says that it takes her all week to make her playlist, because they never repeat the same songs. Joseph explained that once a song has been played, it is “off the table.” They also try not to use the same artists more than once per show, so that they play a variety. The songs that they play go with a specific theme. In the past they have had themes such as fierce females, love songs during the week of Valentine’s Day, break up songs the week after Valentine’s Day, road trips songs before Spring Break, pump up songs for Finals Wee, and empowerment songs. Also, they have weeks where they just play songs they want to listen to.

When they are not playing songs, they fill up the rest of the two hours of their show by talking about various topics. They told me that they usually always start off talking about music, and expand from there to talk about something else, once they become engaged in conversation.

Often times, they also have guests on their show. They have had anywhere from avid listeners, to family members, to friends on their show. They also frequently accept song requests through Snapchat, Facebook or text message, in order to stay connected to their listeners.

One of the struggles Joseph and Nyssa face is that nobody understands the meaning of their name. Last semester, they were having a difficult time deciding what the name of their show was going to be, or if they even wanted to have name. If they had a name, Joseph wanted it to have alliteration with their last name, Gill. The night before their first show, as Nyssa was going through a thesaurus trying to find words that started with a G, she came across the word gamut, which means the range of music. So, they decided to name the show “The Gill Gamut,” despite knowing that people will probably not understand the meaning of their name.

You can catch “The Gill Gamut,” every Thursday night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.